Five Must-See Shows in Rochester This December

We’ve got five must-see music suggestions to end your year this December here in Rochester. From the 1st to the 31st, we’ve got you covered. So work off that holiday meal, take a load off your holiday shopping stress, and get down and groovy with these great shows coming to town. Get out and celebrate a full (relatively) unimpeded year of live music!

rochester shows december

December 1 – Charlie Parr at Arbor Loft

Right off the bat we’ve got an incredible musician coming to town on the first of the month. You can’t really go wrong with an Honest Folk show, really you shouldn’t miss anyone they’re bringing in, but this show in particular is a bit extra as the kids say. As far as folk music goes, you’re not going to get much better than Charlie Parr these days. A scraggly looking Minnesotan, he’ll finger pick some blues tunes that’ll pierce your soul, up above the lit-up East End streets.

Show starts at 8pm and tickets are $30.

December 3 – The Sadies at Skylark Lounge

Rochester has been fortunate to be a longtime regular stop for Toronto’s The Sadies. Tragically they lost their founding member Dallas Good earlier this year. Though they are persevering, getting the band back on the road just recently with a tour of Europe. They’re blowing through town with a stop at the hole-in-the-wall Skylark Lounge, where they last played mere days before the pandemic shutdown. This will both rock and roll.

Show starts at 10pm and tickets are $15/$20dos.

December 15 – Angela Perley at Abilene Bar and Lounge

You gotta love a venue with a well-curated show schedule. Danny Deutsch, who both owns and books Abilene, knows good music. So when he books a band multiple times, you should take notice. When he books a band multiple times in the same year, you better go see why. He’s got Angela Perley back at the joint after she played back this August. Time then to get out to see what her “cosmic swirl of alt-country, psychedelic rock, and amplified Americana” is all about.

Show starts at 7:30 and tickets are $12/$15dos

December 30 – Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad at Water Street Music Hall

Water Street Music Hall is closing out the year with an excellent one-two punch of live music. Rochester’s favorite roots rock reggae band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad opens up the festive weekend with their homecoming blast. They’re bringing Notorious B.I.G. cover band The Frank White Experience and local groovers The Sideways along for the ride as well as other surprise guests. Both sides of the club will be open and rocking so don’t miss out on this night of music and revelry.

Show starts at 8 and tickets are $25 presale.

December 31 – Aqueous at Water Street Music Hall

One night later, Buffalo jam mavens Aqueous return to Rochester for some more heady goodness. Aqueous has long found a second home here and never let us down. If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve that stretches and elongates and parties on until 2022 is no longer visible in the rear view, Water Street is the place to be. The Funky Dawgz and The Pickle Mafia round out the evening but as with Giant Panda, there are sure to be more “friends” popping up on stage.

Show starts at 7pm and tickets are $25.

That’s it for this month, see you out at the shows and see you back here next year!

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